Here are my 14 tips on how to write a successful blog:
1. Be clear why you are doing a blog. Is it:
- to drive traffic to your site?
- to position yourself as an expert?
- to raise your profile?
- to sell stuff (eg: e-books)?
- to air your views?
- all of these?
2. Use WordPress – it’s free and easy to use. There are lots of free plug-ins and free templates. (This is a WordPress blog – although I got a designer to customise it for me so it doesn’t look like an off-the-shelf template.)
3. Use keywords in the headline text, links, browser title, page description and alt tags. That way, you’ll get picked up by the search engines.
4. Install Google analytics. It’s free and gives you a mine of information about who’s visiting your blog, where they come from, how long they stayed, how many pages they looked at etc.
5. Write stuff of value. People will return if you write informative posts that help them. And they’ll also tell others. Also, writing great content will position you as an authority in your subject.
6. End with a question or something controversial to invite comments.
7. Tweet your posts. I tend to tweet mine three times, at different times of the day, to catch people in different time zones.
8. Guest post on other blogs to attract new readers.
9. Give your readers an incentive to sign up as a subscriber, so they get alerted to each new post you write. My incentive is to download the pdf “21 Freelance Challenges and How to Overcome Them”.
10. Blog on a regular basis.
11. Devise an editorial calendar once a month so you know what you’re going to write about. If you’re stuck for ideas, read other blogs in your niche; subscribe to Google alerts so you can see what else is being said about your niche subject; and set up a # search on Twitter for your subject to see what the latest news is.
12. Think of your target reader when you write your post. Will he/she find it useful?
13. Learn how to write engaging headlines. Here are some really useful tips from Copyblogger on how to write magnetic headlines.
14. Interact with your readers. If they write a comment, reply to it. Follow them on Twitter, ‘like’ their Facebook page etc.
Do you have any tips to add to these?
Related article: How do you get more people to read your blog posts?